Can communicating beneficiary feedback to donors augment philanthropic gifts or improve the operations of charitable organizations?

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There is substantial evidence that media sources have identifiable political slants, but there has been relatively little rigorous study into the impact of media on political views and behaviors.  IPA designed a natural field experiment to measure the effect of exposure to newspapers on political behavior and opinion.

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Flipcharts are thought to promote learning in several ways, and may appeal to a broader range of students with different learning styles. Flipcharts may be particularly attractive in the rural Kenyan setting, where textbooks are too expensive for most students and many students have limited proficiency in English, the medium of instruction in Kenya and the language in which all Kenyan textbooks are written.

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The introduction of free primary education has raised primary school enrollment in many developing countries, but the resulting overcrowding of schools and influx of students with little preparation poses new challenges to policymakers. Researchers evaluated three interventions that addressed the large class sizes and heterogeneity in student preparation in the Kenyan school system.

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Approximately 85% of primary school age children in western Kenya are enrolled, however only about one-third of students finish primary school. Dropout rates are typically higher for girls. Results suggest that the Girls Scholarship Program led to persistent test score gains in pupils from treatment schools five years after the program.

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Intestinal helminths—including hookworm, roundworm, schistosomiasis and whipworm—infect more than one in three people worldwide and  at least 800 million of these are school-age children. Worms are believed to have a negative impact on child development, and can contribute to lower educational attainment and income later in life. Intestinal worms can be effectively treated with low-cost drugs, but treatment must be continued indefinitely to prevent re-infection.

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Entrepreneurship accounts for a large share of female employment in most developing countries. However, the majority of female-owned enterprises are small in scale with low earning levels. In Sri Lanka, researchers tested whether business training, by itself or combined with a grant, can raise the income of women entrepreneurs. Among current entrepreneurs, the training improved business practices but did not have an impact on performance.

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Researchers examined whether making cash payments conditional on testing negative for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can improve safe sex practices among 18-30 year olds. Results reveal that giving cash payments of US$20, conditional on testing negative for sexually transmitted diseases, significantly reduced STI infection rates among young adults in Tanzania.

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More than one billion people living in low-income countries do not have access to clean drinking water, leaving them at risk of contracting diarrheal diseases. Drinking chlorinated water can reduce this risk, but there is much uncertainty around what price should be charged in order to encourage the greatest use of chlorine.

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In many countries, sanitation facilities, such as simple pit latrines are common and are helpful for maintaining sanitation and preventing illness. However, young children often continue to defecate in the open long after they are old enough to use the latrine finding open pit latrines intimidating and challenging to use. Innovations for Poverty Action has developed a simple, affordable, and scalable tool called the Safe Squat ™ latrine training mat for use in such contexts.

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Insecticide-treated bed nets have been proven highly effective in preventing malaria, reducing maternal anemia, and infant mortality, both directly for users and indirectly for non-users in their vicinity. Despite their proven impact, less than half of Kenyans sleep under a bednet. This study tested willingness to pay by households and a range of marketing effects.

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Farmers face many challenges as they try to grow and sell enough crops to support their families. Uncertain rainfall, potential crop failure due to natural distasters or disease, unpredictable crop prices, and shaky land tenure all contribute to the difficulties and risks inherent in farming. Improvements in the production processes and productivity of farmland could help many poor families achieve a better life. The Alatona zone is one of the most disadvantaged zones in Mali.

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